Too Much Information



Vapor Records CD


The old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover” applies equally to album cover art. If one were to rate Surfing solely on its visual components, its marks would be middling at best. It consists of Zappa-esque potty humor and naked hirsute band members cavorting with sharp implements. The music itself however, is far more promising, some provocative song titles notwithstanding.  

Devendra Banhart has made a name for himself as a solo artist, but his collaborations here with drummer Gregory Rogove and members of the Strokes revel in alt-folk spontaneity and psych rock jamming. The title tune, “To the Love Within,” and the sparsely adorned but oh-so-lovely “Another Mother” are particularly engaging.

There’s a freshness and vitality to the music-making here, suggesting that Banhart thrives in this more relaxed atmosphere and did well to take a break from the whirlwind ride of industry hype. So, if it takes a bit of visual silliness to bring the band into this creative space, I for one am willing to indulge them – to a degree. But next time, Devendra, keep your clothes ON!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>